Echoes from Plato’s Phaedrus in Aristides’ Smyrna Corpus
This paper is concerned with allusions to Plato’s Phaedrus in Aelius Aristides’ first and last orations dedicated to Smyrna before and after the destructive earthquake of 177-178 CE (Orr. 17 and 21 Keil). It focuses on the intertextual connection between Plato’s description of the Phaedrus setting and its role in stimulating philosophical reflection and Aristides’ use of these passages in order to praise Smyrna. It is argued that the landscape of Smyrna inspires Aristides with oratorical creativity, in the same way that the landscape of the Phaedrus is presented as an inspiration to both oratory and philosophical conversation.